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U.S. Senator John Kennedy meets flood victims

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Posted at 4:36 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 19:35:14-04

U.S. Senator John Kennedy will be sharing his in-person report on the flooding in South Louisiana with his colleagues in Washington. Kennedy toured parts of Lafayette Parish Friday with all five mayors.

Several homeowners who met the Senator tell KATC they have not been home since Monday when it first started raining.

"If we have an emergency, there is no one that can get in or out," Casey Hammonds said while showing photos to Kennedy.

Hammonds told KATC she lives in Champagne Estates.

"We've been flooded five times this year," said Hammonds. "Three times in the last month, and twice in the last two weeks."

According to the homeowner, the water does not get into their house, but it does get so deep that they have to leave by boat.

"We missed work last week, the kids missed school because we can't get out. My husband has employees, that can't come get material for their job, but he still has to pay them, even though they can't work," Hammonds' neighbor Jessica Scott said.

According to Scott, the land was first used by the University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL) as a wetland study area. Years later, it was zoned residential by Vermilion Parish. The homeowners were never warned.

Added Hammonds, "The rain stops, but the water keeps coming."

"I'm going to chase the president like a hound from hell until I get answers," Kennedy stated.

During a press conference on Friday, Kennedy said he is still trying to get relief funds for the 2020 hurricanes.

"They haven't said no, but they haven't said yes. The way it works in Congress, we can appropriate the money, but if the White House is not behind it, I cannot get the support from all of my colleagues," the senator explained.

Despite the unlivable conditions, Hammonds and Scott say they want to move, but don't want to sell to someone else. They stay hopeful something can be done, and say they are also hopeful for a buyout from the Louisiana Watershed Initiative.

"Who are we going to sell to?" Hammonds said. "I will not do what the last homeowners did to us. I do not wish this on anyone."

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